Quick, easy game for Spanish class

I was inspired to try this game with my 7th grade class after reading Martina Bex’s great blog about her first unit of the school year. She gave an idea for a “brain break” which is a quick activity that you can use when your kids are starting to zone out.

I’ve been looking for ideas for activities that can be done very quickly because my kids sometimes do need brain breaks. Or we finish what I’ve planned 5 minutes early and I can’t let them go yet, but there’s no time to start something new. I think that this activity will be a great one for those situations.

I call it “Palomitas” which means “popcorn” in Spanish.

To play:

1. I told the kids to all think of a sentence about themselves starting with “Yo quiero...” We are studying querer right now, but I could do this again with any verb. I gave them an example: “Yo quiero un novio.” They all laughed because I had just told them that I wanted a boyfriend. Well…I do! 🙂

2. After they had a sentence in mind, I told them all to stand up. They had to say their sentences one by one in no structured order and then sit down. If 2 kids started talking at the same time, then everyone had to stand back up again and start over. Today I didn’t time it, but it would be really fun to time this as well and see how fast they can do it.

How it went:

They loved it! They were all able to say their sentences and sit down without interrupting each other. I thought maybe it was too easy, but I could tell that they were all looking around the room at each other trying to gauge when would be a good time to speak. They all asked to play again, but class was over and we were out of time. Now that they know how to play, I’ll time it next class and see how fast they can do it. I’m sure that using a timer will create more situations where they’ll start talking at the same time and have to start over. Plus, one of the best parts of the game was that we got 22 more repetitions of “Yo quiero” used in context.


How to Improve Your Spanish Skills in 5 Hours or Less

Hire a tutor! Could it be that simple? ¡Si! ¡Es la verdad! Yes! It’s the truth!

I see all of my 1-on-1 students make remarkable progress in their Spanish abilities after 4 or 5 lessons one-hour lessons. The progress is even faster if we get all of these lessons done within a couple of weeks. But even if we just get together once a week for 5 weeks, I see a lot of improvements in that short time. Studying with a good tutor who can spot your weaknesses with the language and give you some explanations and exercises to help you straighten out the problem areas can really give you a boost. Plus, with a tutor, you get the chance to practice your speaking skills. In a traditional Spanish class, the teacher does most of the talking and you only get to listen.

How do you find a good Spanish tutor? Well, if you’re in Denver, you can hire me, of course! If you’re out of town, try searching Yelp for a tutor that is highly rated or look on Craigslist for your city.

You can also look on Thumbtack.com to find tutors in your area. Thumbtack isn’t as famous as some of the other sites, but I’ve gotten a lot of my students by using the auto-post to Craigslist feature. If you are looking for a tutor, you can submit a request and you’ll get bids back from several tutors in your area. Definitely beware of choosing the lowest bidder! If you want to improve your Spanish in 5 hours or less, you need to make sure you hire a great tutor, not the cheapest one that you can find. Check out my Thumbtack profile for Savvy Spanish and see how things work.